“Legit” might not be FXX’s most popular comedy, but it should be one of them. After a critically acclaimed first season, the Jim Jefferies-starring series is only sharper, funnier and more brutally heartwarming in Season 2.
Though Wednesday’s (Feb. 26) premiere episode isn’t as jarring or as uplifting as Season 1’s, “Legit” finds its groove much easier in Season 2 than it did last year. The characters of Jim, Billy (DJ Qualls) and Steve (Dan Bakkedahl) feel lived in here, and the episodes feel like one part of a larger story instead of just funny jokes conceived as episodes, which is more akin to “Louie.”
In fact, it’s hard to compare “Legit” to much of anything on television right now, and that’s part of what is so exciting about it. After viewing the first four episodes, it’s clear that Jefferies and co-creator Peter O’Fallon aren’t afraid to push the bounds of what is politically correct on television.
In one episode, a woman Jim is interested in is incredibly racist, and he needs to decide if he should still date her. In another, Jim gets blamed for the death of one of Billy’s physically handicapped friends. While both of those concepts are touchy subjects, “Legit” is able to pull them off due to its completely unrespectful but totally honest depiction of them. Part of what makes a character like Billy, for instance, work so well is the fact that he’s not treated like someone who needs to be tiptoed around with care, but is just one of the gang.
“Legit” walks a fine line in its concept of being offensive and shocking without actually being off-putting. But the show also has a huge heart, as is clear in Season 2 storylines involving Jim’s sexual addiction and Steve’s alcoholism. Scenes with Steve struggling with his estranged relationship with his daughter now that his wife has left him are heartbreaking and beautiful. Who would have thought that the same show that has an upcoming storyline where Jim pees on Billy’s face would be able to reach the other end of the spectrum?
If you missed the first season of “Legit,” now is the time to catch up. Season 1 arrived on Netflix a few months back, and even watching a few of its episodes should get viewers ready for tonight’s premiere. But going forward, as Jefferies told Zap2it at a set visit, the show is going to be more like a novel. Instead of being culled from his standup, “Legit” will stand on its own.
That’s one of the most welcome changes about what we’ve viewed of Season 2. “Legit” is now very much about the ensemble, and not just about Jim’s life. Billy and Steve, and even Rodney (Nick Daley) and Walter (John Ratzenberger), get entire story arcs and episodes dedicated to their lives and troubles, and that’s part of what is helping the series find its footing. “Legit” has momentum in the first several episodes of its 13-episode Season 2, and it looks like it’s only getting better from here.
“Legit” Season 2 premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FXX.